DELAIN / AMORPHIS / ANNEKE / NIVIANE
ACE OF SPADES
It’s a Tuesday in Northern California and the shows keep a coming my way to the Ace of Spades and tonight I’m happy to cover DELAIN, AMORPHIS, ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN, and NIVIANE. Aside from the local openers, the other three artists are Scandinavian and on a small package tour and it’s great to see metal of this genre come to downtown Sacramento.
With a limited amount of stage time, Niviane focuses on newer material to highlight their upcoming release. The 5-piece, who has toured nationally, stands strong as the opener with their brand of Power Metal with dueling guitars and soaring vocals. There is technique displayed from all of the musicians and they definitely brought some of their own fans tonight as there was a good size crowd already in the room at 7:00pm when they hit the stage.
Interestingly, Anneke comes on stage with acoustic guitar and plays a selection of tunes from her past as well as select covers. And when she tells the crowd she was playing a KISS cover but she didn’t do many ‘rock’ songs, she then asks if the crowd would rather hear DOLLY PARTON and lo and behold, the crowd fancies her version of JOLENE. Anneke then takes a journey to cover an AUDIOSLAVE song to pay tribute to CHRIS CORNELL with LIKE A STONE as well as treats us to some PINK FLOYD with WISH YOU WERE HERE where she sings the guitar solo which was a treat. Having an acoustic act follow a Power Metal band was odd, but it worked and the crowd enjoyed both sets.
Up next was Amorphis who hits the stage with THE BEE and dressed in black with a level of confidence and swagger and with this many years into their career they have earned that right. There is never too much energy with this band but their vibe is just that, they feel their music and allow it to breathe, even when there are guttural vocals it still has feel to the message. While playing their career in their 12-song set the crowd isn’t left out or feel as if anything is missing as they are happy hearing tracks like FOUR WISE ONES, BLACK WINTER DAY, and closer HOUSE OF SLEEP. Being a casual fan, I was more drawn into this band tonight after their live set.
DELAIN! They have been on my radar since they released THE HUMAN CONTRADICTION and while I know that wasn’t their first record, that’s when they started to hit their stride in my opinion and I’ve been waiting to see them ever since and now five years later I have the chance. Storming on to the stage with new track BURNING BRIDGES and then moving into SUCKERPUNCH it’s an opening combination that cannot lose with their crowd. Lead Singer CHARLOTTE WESSELS holds her vocal duties as the true professional that she is and it’s apparent she is in control of her range. The band engages the crowd, work the stage, and keep their 13-song set concise and to the point. Yet, there is the element we don’t get often from bands, SOLOS! We were treated to a drum and guitar solo showcasing true talent and this was well received and hope to see more of this as other bands can take a note from Delain’s playbook. There are many bands whose energy dwindles throughout the performance, but Delain had the stamina and kept it going nonstop with heads banging and smiles on their faces and appears as if they are 100% enjoying their time. Highly recommend everyone reading this getting out to a show!
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